Judge bans MSNBC from courthouse after alleged incident with freelancer
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“I have instructed that no one from MSNBC News will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial,” said Judge Bruce Schroeder, while warning anyone else against attempting to follow jury vehicles.
James J. Morrison was spotted by Kenosha police after allegedly running red light that the van had passed through.
At the time, he reportedly identified himself as a producer for MSNBC and NBC News and that his supervisor had told him to follow the van. That’s when the alleged traffic violation took place.
Kenosha police alleged that a man, without identifying Morrison, was trying to photograph jurors though they later clarified that so far there is no evidence that occurred.
NBC News, the parent of MSNBC, issued a statement denying that Morrison was instructed to photograph members of the jury. It also said that it will cooperate with court and police officials.
It’s not immediately clear what affect banning MSNBC reporters would have on NBC News itself since the two channels share resources, including both on air and behind the scenes personnel.
Madison, Wisconsin, NBC affiliate WMTV noted on its website that it has not been banned from the building as a result of the judge’s instructions.
Schroeder has been openly critical of the media covering the trial despite initially granting permission for cameras to air the proceedings live. In general, cameras aren’t allowed in courtrooms in the U.S. but judges can, in some jurisdictions, override that at their discretion.
Despite that, Schroeder has also been called out for what some call theatrics by having Rittenhouse draw the numbers of the jury pool who would ultimately decide his fate. He also played an impromptu game of “Jeopardy!” with jurors while procedural issued were taken care of, though he said he has done that in the past.